Srinagar: Salamabad Cross LoC Traders Union – an umbrella body of intra-Kashmir traders – on Monday threatened to boycott the trade from March in case the authorities don’t revoke a ban on trading of four commonly bartered goods.
Addressing a press conference at a local hotel in Srinagar, Salamabad Cross LoC Traders Union president, Hilal Turkie said instead of promoting the trade, the authorities were adding hurdles for traders.
“We are dismayed by the actions of TFO (Trade facilitation officer) customs and Quarantine section for ban of four main items including Pistachio, Apple, Charmagaz and Anardana out of 21 agreed tradable items,”Turkie said.
He said cancellation of these items has come as a shock to the LoC trading community.
“Such reduction of items makes trade difficult, since the trade is based on barter system and it is important to send and receive items to clear the balances among the traders,” he said, adding that the cancelation has reduced the trade substantially and is on verge of closure.
Thousands of people are dependent on the Cross-LoC trade which began nine years ago as a confidence building measure between two sides of divided Kashmir.